Torment

I’ve often said that I would endure any torment for a pair of elegant
shoes. Until two days ago I had no idea that the torment might entail a
broken wrist and a gash on the forehead that needed ten stitches. That was
what happened when I fell down the stairs shortly after putting on my
newest pair: mules with kitten heels and plaid fabric uppers adorned with
rustling clusters of beads. Beautiful!

But the stairs were oak, slick and hard, and I slipped and pitched forward. My right hand, carrying a juice-tumbler, banged onto the wood floor below, and my head crashed into the shattered tumbler. As for my hand, it was now curiously bent.

Soon I was lying strapped to a gurney in an ambulance, my head encased in a plastic contraption in case of brain injury. My new shoes rode at my side.

“Those are fabulous!” exclaimed an ambulance paramedic.

In the emergency room, my immobilized head could see only ceilings, with an occasional face peering over me at the edges of my shrunken horizon.

“Great shoes!” I heard someone say.

My husband’s face appeared, and his hand slipped into my good hand. I was wheeled under many ceilings and bright lights. X-rays were taken and a CT-scan. A husky orthopedist and a terrified-looking intern shoved a needleful of anesthetic into my wristbone and yanked it back into place. Someone else sewed up my forehead and assured me I wouldn’t look like Frankenstein.

Eventually they pronounced my brain OK and removed the contraption. My arm in a splint, I was free to go. Except for my shoes. I put them on. I am superstitious, but not that superstitious. I would wear my lovely mules again–although not on stairs.

“Cute shoes,” said the nurse as we left.

**

Submitted by Charlotte Allen of Washington, DC.

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